About Cara Brookins


Cara Brookins is a bestselling author and professional speaker, who, despite her lack of construction training, built a 3500 square foot house with her four kids by watching YouTube tutorials. Her successful book about the project launched her career as a keynote speaker and media personality and has now been optioned to become a Hollywood film.

Cara’s keynote presentations combine strong content with entertainment to help audiences around the world build a better life and career. She proves that reaching your highest potential isn’t just about how hard you work but about adjusting your mindset and strategy to take full advantage of the hours you’re putting in. Your vision, mindset, and focus become the building blocks for your success.

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She was born Cara Puttkammer in Tomah, Wisconsin. The youngest of two children, her parents believed in hard work, self-reliance, and took on more than a few extreme DIY projects themselves, including digging a full-sized swimming pool with shovels and then enclosing it with an addition to their home.

Cara was a reader and a storyteller from early childhood and began writing fiction stories when her four children were very young. She graduated with a degree in technical writing and English from UALR and has seven published fiction novels for middle grade, young adult, and adult markets.

To share the story of building a house with her kids, Cara wrote Rise, How a House Built a Family, which sold in a six figure auction to St. Martin’s Press and became a worldwide viral story on its release in January of 2017. With thousands of media outlets in 75 countries generating more than two billion impressions, this little story of a family building a house with YouTube tutorials attracted attention on a global scale.

The success of Rise combined with eighteen years as a senior software architect lead Cara to become a highly requested speaker at major corporations like YouTube and Google as well as major conferences and annual meetings and to deliver a TEDx about living a life without limits and redefining the way people set goals.

The traditional Chinese language version of Rise is releasing in late 2018. Additional Foreign language deals for Rise are underway.

Rise has been optioned to become a major motion picture by Escape Artists, the producers behind The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and hundreds of other successful films.

A major studio, an a-list actress have attached to the film as well as talented screen writer Kate Angelo (Will and Grace, Backup Plan)

More details to be announced soon.

Cara is the narrator for the documentary Good Luck (post-production) with director Jonathan Salemi. Good Luck presents interviews with celebrity author Robert Greene, sports stars, and public figures on the nature and meaning of luck, and if we can create or attract it.
Rise was selected by President Clinton for his recommended reading list and became a best seller in multiple Amazon categories as well as on reading lists around the United States.

YouTube and Google filmed a motivational documentary for internal use at the home built by Cara and her kids.

Cara was inducted in the Arkansas Writers hall of fame in 2018.